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Issue 56 - Full of Eastern promise

Whisky Magazine Issue 56
June 2006


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Full of Eastern promise

The Star in the East is beginning to rise.And if the markets of China,India and Russia perform anywhere near to their potential,they could change the world of whisky forever.Richard Jones reports

It's hardly front page news that the economy in China is doing pretty well at the moment.

Well actually it is. On the 19th April 2006 The Independent reported the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington with the headline ‘America meets the new superpower'. Inside the same newspaper commentator Rupert Cornwell observed that ‘it is a question of when, not if, America will be eclipsed' economically.

Even if long range forecasting is a notoriously unreliable business, it is hard to argue with figures such as these: the world's fastest growing economy; total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) at $1.9 trillion and poised to overtake Britain and France in becoming the world's fourth largest economy (some analysts believe this has already happened); producer of more than half of all the industrial goods on the planet; and the biggest consumer of coal, steel, grain and meat.

Of course economic success is not the sole preserve of China. India boasts the world's second largest population and has also experienced phenomenal growth.

The country's GDP has increased by an average of 6.8 per cent per annum since 1994 placing it 10th on a global scale.

Although predictions are less bullish than for China, some forecasters believe that the Indian economy will overtake the combined output of Western Europe by 2035.

Since its financial crisis in 1998, the Russian GDP has grown by an average of 6.4 per cent annually. Underpinned by its strong reserves of oil and gas, Russia current...

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